Friends University Announces Appointment of Dr. Joan Gallagher as Vice President of University Advancement

Friends University is pleased to announce that Dr. Joan Gallagher has been appointed to serve as the vice president of University Advancement.

Dr. Gallagher oversees all aspects of the University Advancement division, which is responsible for developing and nurturing University relationships and partnerships within the community and with various institutional constituencies. In her role, Dr. Gallagher oversees corporate, foundation and individual giving; a comprehensive alumni outreach program; and University interactions with external constituents. She is also responsible for overseeing public relations and publications to ensure that institutional initiatives and messages support the University’s strategic advancement priorities.

“She is a strategic, dynamic and highly effective leader and collaborator who will take an active role in gaining support for University projects by establishing productive internal and external working relationships,” said Friends University Interim President Dr. Darcy Zabel. “Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Gallagher had a distinguished career in corporate communications at several Fortune 100 companies. Her past experience positions her to successfully lead the University in building and maintaining relationships that are vital to our on-going success.”

Dr. Gallagher previously served as a professor for six years at Friends University, where she worked collaboratively across a variety of academic disciplines. She also served in an administrative capacity as a special projects coordinator for the dean of the College of Business, Arts, Sciences and Education as well as the associate dean of the College of Adult and Professional Studies.

Joan Gallagher“University Advancement supports the mission and vision of Friends through strategic visibility, community partnerships and alumni engagement,” Dr. Gallagher said. “It is therefore both personally and professionally gratifying to assume a role that fosters staff, faculty and student engagement in their intellectual, spiritual and professional contributions to the community, while cultivating meaningful investments in the University’s purpose and goals from a broader constituency.”

Dr. Gallagher earned her Ph.D. from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., where her research focused on the use of social capital in connection to relationship building and sustaining engagement. She also completed an executive program in international business at Columbia University in New York and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Boston University.

Her previous work with several Fortune 100 companies included developing and executing comprehensive communications, community affairs, crisis communications and public relations strategies to manage a company’s public persona and reputation, while communicating a consistent message regarding a company’s business objectives and commitment to integrity, customer service, community relationships, and customer privacy. She has served as the senior vice president for corporate communications at the healthcare company Caremark RX Inc./CVS in Nashville, Tenn., and as the vice president for corporate communications for the Eckerd Corporation retail drug chain in Largo, Fla. She was also a senior vice president and director of public relations for the financial services firm Zurich Scudder Investments in Boston, Mass., and the vice president of corporate public relations and corporate public affairs for Gillette, the consumer products company in Boston, Mass. She also directed Gillette’s non-profit Women’s Cancers Program and served as the president of the Gillette Women’s Cancers Charitable Foundation. In each case, as a member of the CEO’s senior leadership team, she represented her companies through board membership on community and education-based non-profit organizations. Of note, she has served on the boards of the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, the United Way Suncoast (Florida), the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research, and the Global Public Affairs Institute (New York), and as a corporate executive board member for WGBH, the public television station in Boston, Mass. She also has been a newspaper reporter and magazine editor.

Dr. Gallagher is active with The Salvation Army of Wichita, serving on the Advisory Board, Marketing Committee, and Nominating Committee. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, a member of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and a member of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education.

Friends University offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate academic programs for traditional students and working adults. Rooted both in the liberal arts tradition and the Christian tradition, students learn inside and outside the classroom. Friends University is a regional university with national programs and an international presence.